Grass carp, a species of the Asian carp was pulled out by a fisherman in Lake Erie. Grass carp feeds on aquatic vegetation and was caught west of point Pelee last week. It weighed in at about 23 pounds (10.5 kilograms) though they have now been known to grow upwards of 99 pounds (45 kilograms).
The carp has been sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Burlington for testing. The test is aimed at finding out if the fish was fertile or sterile. Experts believe that this was a freak find since carp is not a native of this place. Experts believe that if large numbers of grass carp were present then they would turn up more often in nets since the area was trawled by large commercial fishing boats on the lake.
The fish accidentally caught in the fisherman’s net could have reached the lake naturally or was present there because someone had just released it in those waters. However, this is not the first time that a carp has been caught in Lake Erie. Another grass carp was caught in 1985, also in Point Pelee. Other grass carp have been caught in the surrounding areas and were said to be sterile.
The fish has proliferated in the US inland waters, breeding rapidly and has been surviving on plankton. The flip side is that this type of carp poses challenges for regular boaters with their mid-air leaps.
The province relies on a mix of 20 federal and provincial acts in dealing with invasive species though none had been designed to counter the threats being faced.
In 2012, Ottawa announced a $17.5 million budget to fight Asian carp.
In 2014, the Canadian government allocated $400,000 to help in the construction of an Asian carp research laboratory in Burlington, Ontario.